- Come up with an idea. Decide what you want to do and how you want to do it. Do you want to illustrate a gospel principle through a conference talk? Make a Mormon music video? Know someone with an incredible story of faith? Decide on the message you want to convey and the tone you want your video to have. We decided to do something along the lines of the classic Mormon video, "Out of the Mouths of Babes," and interview little kids about love in their families. See the contest website, lds.org/videocontest, for more ideas, rules, and guidelines.
- Decide on a plan of attack. Evaluate your ideas and resources--make sure you will be able to accomplish what you want to do in the time frame allotted.
- Gather your materials/people. Find a camera and make sure you know how to use it. If you don't, find someone who does. Having a friend or relative with video making/editing expertise will help you immensely in the process. Our group is very grateful for the help of Dave Potter's sister, a recently graduated film major, who lent us her camera and generously allowed us to draw on her expertise. Keep in mind that for all distinguishable locations and for all persons in the video you will need to have signed location and model releases.
- Film. Make sure in the process that you continually evaluate the intended purpose of your message and that the footage you take will convey what you are trying to get across. Also, you may only use music under the categories listed on the contest website, and any copyrighted material (such as logos on people's clothing) is not allowed.
- Edit. This part takes a LONG TIME, so keep that in mind. Our group used the program Final Cut Pro, available on the computers in the BYU Harold B. Lee Library Multimedia Lab (mmlab.lib.byu.edu), which was handy because there's a technical assistant in there who can teach you how to use the program. You could also use another program such as iMovie, which is a little bit simpler than Final Cut. We had huge issues with downloading and transporting our files--make sure your hard drive is compatible with the computer you will be working on, and that you will have enough space to save your files. Helpful tip for BYU students: Reserve the same computer for the entire time you will be working on your project and save yourself a lot of hassle. Ugh. Back up your project in a couple different places, if possible.
- Upload your finished video to YouTube. You submit your Mormon Message by putting the video URL on the electronic entry form (available through the website).Contest judging begins February 1st, 2011, and you will be notified if there are issues with your video or if you have been selected as a finalist.
A project like this takes quite a bit of time and effort--not gonna lie. But I have learned so much and don't regret my time invested at all. It is my hope that even if our video is not selected as a finalist that we will be able to share it and use it to uplift others and help them to feel the Spirit each time they see it.